Cereals and food security

Agricultural system

France is the leading producer and the biggest exporter in Europe of cereals, at 60 million tonnes. In terms of vale, cereals account for a quarter of all French crops. Half of all production is exported. 

Among the ten or so species cultivated in France, the largest in volume are :

- common wheat (about 36 million tons annually),

- maize (about 14 million tons),

- barley (about 12 million tons),

- durum wheat (about 2 million tons).

France also produces more than 90,000 tonnes of paddy rice on about 18,000 ha in the Camargue, in the South of France.

Highly organised, the French cereal sector involves three main types of players: producers (around 300,000 farms), collectors (170 cooperatives, 983 traders) and processors (including 440 mills).

With 66 million tonnes of cereals produced (2015 data) on 270,000 farms, France is the world's 5th largest wheat producer after China, India, Russia and the USA.

50% of production is exported (25 to 30 million tonnes of grain in the European Union and third countries) and 4 million tonnes of products are processed (flour, malt and maize starches).